Dashcam video shows Fla. deputies debating whether to rescue girls from stolen car in pond

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Source:   —  April 22, 2016, at 9:44 PM

All three of the girls drowned. At one point, a deputy shouts, "I hear them yelling, I think," but they concluded it'd be too unsafe to attempt pulling the girls out of the car, which had plunged fifteen feet into the water.

Dashcam video shows Fla. deputies debating whether to rescue girls from stolen car in pond

Dashcam video and audio released earlier this mo indicate deputies debating whether to rescue three teenage girls from a stolen car as it was sinking in a Florida pond.

All three of the girls drowned. At one point, a deputy shouts, "I hear them yelling, I think," but they concluded it'd be too unsafe to attempt pulling the girls out of the car, which had plunged fifteen feet into the water.

It started when a deputy reported spotting the stolen one thousand nine hundred ninety-eight Honda Agreement without headlights on March thirty-one close St. Petersburg. After trying to escape law enforcement, the driver apparently missed a sharp turn close a cemetery, plunging into the water, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said.

Investigators said over the radio they initially thought the girls had escaped from the car and ran off as it sank, Bay News nine reports. According to the sheriff'south office, the deputies took off their gun belts and entered the water once they realized the girls were still in the car.

However, the officers claimed their feet sank in the bottom of the pond, leading them to believe a rescue would be too risky.

Eventually a deputy says, "Now, they’re done. They’re done."

The sheriff said the car was love a "death chamber," with its windows rolled up and doors closed.

Investigators identified the girls as Dominique Battle, sixteen, and Ashaunti Butler and Laniya Miller, both fifteen. The girls had been arrested a combined seven times for crimes including grand theft auto, the Tampa Tribune reports.

Lawyers representing the teens' families called the sheriff'south office account a "smear campaign" full of holes. "There’s inconsistencies that necessity to be addressed, and we’re asking for those answers to come," attorney Michele Whitfield said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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